“My dear children,” pursued the black marble clergyman, with pathos, “this is a sad, a melancholy occasion; for it becomes my duty to warn you that this girl, who might be one of God’s own lambs, is a little castaway: not a member of the true flock, but evidently an interloper and an alien. You must be on your guard against her; you must shun her example; if necessary, avoid her company, exclude her from your sports, and shut her from your converse. Teachers, you must watch her; keep your eyes on her movements, weigh well her words, scrutinise her actions, punish her body to save the soul; if, indeed, such salvation be possible, for…this girl is – a liar!”
– Charlotte Bronte
Jane Eyre, Chapter 7. Mr. Brocklehurst repeats what he has been told by Mrs. Reed and announces to the whole school that Jane is a liar. Declaring her an interloper and alien, he asks that she be shunned. Punish her body to save the soul, urges the clergyman man whose faith is all hell-fire and brimstone. Brocklehurst is abusive to the children in his school and represents the worst kind of extreme evengelical zeal. An appropriate metaphor likens the bible-thumping Brocklehurst, who weaponizes religion to frighten and intimidate little girls in his care, to black marble.